Six inches to a foot.
Flowers of various colours, April.
The Polyanthus may be described as a cowslip
with flowers as large as a primrose.
In a good specimen the leaf-tuft should be strong
and thick, the stems tall and stout, the flowers
large and of clear bright colours, not muddled
Few things are better in a spring gardening than
a good-sized bed of mixed Polyanthus of a satisfactory
The plants should be put out in October or November.
Avoid dry and sunny positions, such, for instance,
as the foot of a south wall or greenhouse border;
a moist and rather heavy soil is an advantage,
and shade for half the day will do no harm. After
flowering (if the beds are wanted for other things)
the roots may be forked up and planted in some
corner of the garden to finish their growth.
They may be used again for flowering next spring,
wither replanting them whole, or dividing them
After two or three years the plants grow woody,
and become enfeebled, and it is always well to
replenish the stock from seed.
This should be sown in May on a half-shady border,
in shallow drills; the soil should contain no
fresh manure, but may be improved with leaf-mould
The seedlings must be pricked out, putting them
again on a piece of ground which gets partial
At all stages of growth the plants must have plenty
A packet of good mixed seed will afford abundance
of fine sorts; but there will probably be some
poor specimens with washy colours, which should
be marked and removed.
Among the good colours are creamy white, pale
and darker yellow, crimson, deep maroon or purple
and various rose shades; some sorts are delicately
edged or laced with white or yellow; there is
a passable blue; and there are the oddities known
as “Hose-in Hose”, a double sort,
and “Jack in the Green”, in which
each flower is surrounded by green leaves.
See also : Primula